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The 2006 Virginia Children's Festival at Town Point Park will include storytelling and physics demonstrations by Old Dominion University faculty, staff and students.

Each year, the park on the Norfolk waterfront is transformed into an enchanted playground with educational exhibits, participatory workshops and activities, national and regional children's entertainment acts and huggable costumed characters. This year's event is Saturday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Representatives from the ODU Darden College of Education will dress up as kings, queens and other fairy tale characters to read and act out stories in their Storybook Castle. Costumed students will also help children create their own souvenir storybooks.

Also at the Storybook Castle, Norfolk author Lisa Suhay will read from her new book, "The Mermaids and Yellow Jack: A NorFolktale." Suhay will appear from 1-1:30 p.m. with a group of costumed mermaids, who will help her tell the book's story of how mermaids came to be the Norfolk symbol. There also will be a demonstration of mermaid aerobics and the sale of mermaid crafts.

The booth of the ODU physics department will present 20 interactive demonstrations of physical phenomena, covering topics such as vacuum and air pressure, electricity generation, rotational motion and waves and optics. About 20 faculty, staff members and students will participate.

More than 2,000 children are expected to attend the festival, which the largest of its kind in Virginia.

For more information about the festival or ODU participation, contact Gail Taylor, associate professor of educational curriculum and instruction, at 683-4180, or Charles Hyde-Wright, professor of physics, at chyde@odu.edu.

This article was posted on: October 6, 2006

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